October 19, 2023
BANGKOK – A series of marketing activities and events are being planned by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to boost tourism in the fourth quarter of this year.
This would include exciting countdown events, hoping to attract foreign tourists and sustain the momentum into the first and second quarters of next year. Key events include the Chinese New Year and Songkran festivals.
The TAT has proposed a budget of 600 million baht to conduct marketing, public relations, and hold festival events both domestically and internationally during this high season. They plan to execute these initiatives through four projects, expecting to generate tourism revenue of not less than 31.66 billion baht. The main events are part of the Thailand festival experience, which will be scattered across all five regions, and will need a budget of 200 million baht. The aim is to generate at least 1.1 billion baht in revenue.
The proposal is being timed to ensure provisions are made in the draft Budget Act for fiscal year 2024, which is still under preparation.
The four proposed projects are:
▪︎ Amazing Thailand passport privileges: Needs a budget of 150 million baht. The expected outcome is to enhance Thailand’s image as a shopping destination and woo new customers from foreign markets, boosting tourism.
▪︎ Thailand festival experience in five regions: Needs a budget of 200 million baht. The expected outcome is to generate revenue of not less than 1.1 billion baht.
▪︎ Marketing and public relations: Needs a budget of 150 million baht. The expected outcome is to gain revenue of 30 billion baht from global markets on all continents.
▪︎ The link local to global: Needs a budget of 100 million baht. The expected outcome is to generate revenue of not less than 560 million baht.
‘Bangkok – Korat’ countdown
TAT Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool emphasised that the 2023 Countdown event, hosted by the tourism agency, would feature two main locations: Bangkok, specifically the iconic Wat Arun, similar to the previous year’s countdown event. The event will showcase fireworks illuminating the temple, a significant landmark in Thailand’s tourism sector. The other location is Nakhon Ratchasima province, where a large event will bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new one over a period of 10 days in front of the provincial city hall. Additionally, the TAT would continue to support private sector-led countdown events, such as the ones at IconSiam and CentralWorld.
Other events, such as the Loy Kratong festival in November, will also be hosted by the TAT. The festival will be held grandly at Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem (canal) and the Chao Phraya riverside from December 1-31 this year, longer than the previous two-week duration. This extension is due to the positive response received from tourists following the previous event, aimed at welcoming the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting delegates.
The projected figure for foreign tourists in the fourth quarter of this year is at least 7 million — 2 million in October, and above 2.5 million a month in November and December. This optimistic projection is based on the fact that 60% of pre-Covid international flight capacity has been restored.
“The market has recovered significantly, exceeding 80-90% compared to 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic. The great number of tourists come from Malaysia, India, South Korea, and Russia. Other markets showing substantial growth include Saudi Arabia and Israel, with an estimated target of 200,000 tourists for this year,” Thapanee said.
PM’s official trip to China
According to the TAT governor, Chinese tourists, were the biggest number among visitors to Thailand in 2019 with over 11 million arrivals. Recent statistics for the first half of this year, from January 1 – October 15, indicate that the number of Chinese tourists was 2,645,885. TAT aims to attract at least another 4 million Chinese tourists during the rest of the year.
Within this week, the TAT will sign a letter of intent on tourism cooperation with eight leading Chinese partners: Trip.com, Ant International (Alipay), Meituan, Huawei, Spring Airlines, Xinhua Net, iQIYI, and JegoTrip. This agreement is set to be signed on October 19 in Beijing.
All these partners are major players in the tourism and service industry, including online travel agents (OTAs), airlines, and payment gateways. Their collaboration aims to promote and market tourism together, emphasising positive perceptions, especially regarding safety, to boost Thailand’s tourism in the Chinese market, Thapanee said.
Srettha said: “I am here in China to participate as a witness in this event,” referring to the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held on October 17-18 in Beijing. His official visit to China on October 19 will mark the formalisation of this collaboration.
21 million in 9 months
Sports and Tourism Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol said that from January 1 to October 15 of this year, Thailand welcomed over 21,019,800 foreign tourists, generating revenue of 882.45 billion baht. The top five countries in terms of number of visitors were: Malaysia – 3,431,287; China – 2,645,885; South Korea – 1,255,769; India – 1,230,125; and Russia – 1,038,036.